Blogger Blitz Finale: Saving the Castle

Blogger Blitz Finale: Saving the Castle

This is it: the last challenge.  And boy, is it a rough one.  I’m not sure how it’ll turn out but I had to use every bit of Zelda lore I knew to try and accomplish the task set by Ian at Adventure Rules.  The challenge is as follows:

“You have been invited by the steward of the Mushroom Kingdom to assist them with a royal problem. The infant princess, Baby Peach, has begun to develop strange abilities based on her emotions. She literally cries rivers, when she’s angry she bursts into flame, her happiness causes her to float in the air and produce bursts of wind – the only emotional state in which the castle and its staff are safe from her is when she is calm. A doctor is preparing a cure but a courier has to make an overnight trip to pick it up. So the steward needs someone to protect Peach’s Castle from her emotion powers until the cure is delivered.
‘Why not just take her out of the castle?’ you might ask. As fate would have it, there’s an issue with the castle’s power source, the Power Stars. They’ve malfunctioned and now the only thing keeping them running is Peach’s presence in the castle. If she leaves, the Stars will fail and be scattered across the kingdom.
‘We tried having the castle wizard place a spell on her to make her sleep through the night,’ the steward explains, ‘but she is immune to any magic that influences her emotional state.’ There’s another problem too – taking advantage of the castle’s current vulnerability, the evil wizard Kamek has summoned six warriors from other worlds to attack the Mushroom Kingdom. You might recognize them as the defeated competitors from the Blogger Blitz challenge. These warriors, under Kamek’s control, will stop at nothing to kidnap Peach and leave the castle in ruins.”

This event has three distinct parts: the competitors must protect Peach from the previous six Blogger Blitz competitors, protect the castle from those same attackers, and finally protect the castle from Peach and her dangerous emotion powers (based, by the way, on the video game Super Princess Peach). The competitors have been told that they are not able to circumvent any parts of the challenge – no taking Peach out of the castle and no controlling Peach’s emotions through magic. These have been justified fictionally in the above description of the event. Finally, because this event has three distinct parts the competitors will have up to 1200 words in order to make their argument. Also, this makes it so that the total word counts of each phase of the competition go 4000, 3200, 2400. Why does that matter? Because…symmetry, or something.

Wow.  What an imagination to come up with something as complex and awesome as that!  A big, hearty “good luck” to my challenger, Lightning Ellen!  You can read her submission on her blog.  As always, check back Friday at Adventure Rules to find the results of the finale!  And now, on with the show!

… P.S. I promise to have a new recipe tomorrow!


The last month has been increasingly difficult.  These external calls for a hero’s help have left me drained.  But still I answer, Courage never failing, because I am a Hero.  And I’m finally going to tell my own story.  Written down, of course, since no amount of gesticulating seems to be heard.  Everyone understands me, of course.  They just can’t hear me.  Writing is the easier route.

Peach's Castle

When the request came I knew I would need help.  I grabbed my tools, called on some loyal companions, and found my way to the Mushroom Kingdom.  I had already been briefed on the situation: baby peach’s magical powers were wreaking havoc on the castle and herself.  There was possible danger from the outside, as well.  I was nervous, but took comfort from the Ocarina I carried and the Song of Time, which would turn back the clock 3 days in case of failure.  I hoped I wouldn’t need it.

When I got to the castle it seemed like the mission had already started.  The princess was in a terrible rage and the castle was catching fire.  I whipped out my Ocarina and played the Song of Storms.  The gentle rain extinguished the fire and had the added bonus of calming the princess.  She seemed fascinated by the music.  After that she warmed up to me.  I began my preparations while Peach’s attendants prepared her for the evening.  I established a perimeter of warp points on each of the four sides of the castle, knowing that I could be needed at anywhere in a moment.  I asked my guides to stay at those points since they could quickly find me and alert me if something was wrong.  I set up my friend, Ooccoo, on the East along with Tatl, the fairy.  By keeping Ooccoo Jr. with me I could quickly return to his mother.  Using the Travel Medallion and my Sheikah Slate I created a point on the West and asked Navi to stand guard there.  Farore’s Wind created a point on the North side of the castle with Ciela. And in the South I set up Midna and her warp capability.  With each of the areas guarded I needed to find a way to protect Peach, not only from external threats, but from herself.

baby peach

When I found her, the princess was laughing at a book and floating 6 feet off the ground.  A sudden gust of wind threatened to blow her out the window.  In a panic I used my Hookshot to latch to the ceiling above her, dropped down, and snatched her out of the air.  She calmed down once we hit the floor and seemed comfortable with me.  I requested that she wear my Minish Cap, which would shrink her to a very small size.  She’d still express her powers, but they would be minimized and more manageable.  She agreed and I decided to take it further, making the entire situation a game, and asking her to play in one of the Bottles I carried.  After more laughter and another trip on my Hookshot, she agreed.  I placed her inside a Bottle with a Fairy, to keep her company.  This would protect her, but I would still be be able to see her and interfere if necessary.

indiana jones

As soon as I capped the lid Navi came racing toward me.  I knew there was trouble and warped to her side of the castle.  A man with a bull whip stood, ready to attack.  I used my Ice Rod and froze him, allowing me time to think.  Fi quickly told me to be careful of his whip.  That seemed simple enough and, as he unfroze, I dealt him a blow with my Boomerang and stunned him.  I tied him up, took him to the dungeon, knowing his lack of magic would prevent him from escaping, and locked the door just as Tatl flew in.

ash ketchum

I warped to her location to find an electric monster guarding the hallway – it was yellow, with black stripes and tall, pointed ears.  With my Thunder Helm I didn’t fear any electrical discharge.  I exhausted the beast with the Master Sword and used the Hookshot to stun the Trainer standing behind the monster.  Fi let me know that this boy lacked magical powers, as well, so down to the dungeon he went.

guybrush threepwood

As I came up the stairs I felt a sickening blow to my head.  A Fairy came to my aid and the stars quickly blinked out of my eyes.  I realized the man who had attacked was a pirate, laughing and making a sharp joke about the situation.  I froze this intruder with an Ice Arrow and, after receiving Fi’s confirmation that he, too, would lack the skills required to escape from a magical dungeon, placed him in there with his 3 fellow-attackers.

the joker

Midna appeared before me, quickly warping us to her side of the castle.  We re-appeared just as an explosion went off.  Luckily I had Daruk’s Blessing, which created a temporary shield and protected both myself and Peach from the damage.  As the ringing in my ears died I heard frightening laughter.  The Joker, a man I had encountered before, was standing down the hallway, finger on another trigger.  I quickly froze him and, knowing he was under no spell forcing him to attack, drew my Master Sword and brought it crashing down into him.

claire redfield

The castle became quiet after that… Too quiet.  I checked on Peach but she seemed to be happily floating in air, playing with the Fairy and laughing as a gentle breeze pushed her around the Bottle.  I sighed in relief and decided to prowl the hallways.  I donned the Stone Mask, which turned me invisible, and began patrolling.  A soft noise startled me and I glanced around.  There, in the shadows, was a character I knew well – Claire Redfield.  I knew she possessed a terrible power that would transform her if left alive.  I needed to get her out of the castle.  I crept up, using a Sneaky Elixer, and froze her using my Cryonis Sheikah Rune.  I created a Dark World warp using my Magic Mirror and sent her into another realm.  As I did so, I unfroze her, knowing she would be able to protect herself while there.  When this was all over I would fetch her and return her to her home.

mega man

Ciela came shooting toward me and we warped to her section of the castle.  I saw the invader and attempted to freeze him with the Ice Rod, but there didn’t seem to be much effect.  Every attack I shot at him just made him stronger, and he soon started shooting my attacks back!  I knew if I couldn’t defeat him I would have to incapacitate him.  Ciela Stopped Time, just long enough for me to bring Peach out of the bottle and remove the Minish Cap.  I quickly placed the cap on Mega Man’s head, shrinking him down, and dropped him in an empty Bottle.  When time restarted, he was trapped and without the power to escape.  As I held the princess’s hand the sun rose, the long night was over, and Peach’s antidote had arrived.

Blogger Blitz Semifinals: Raccoon City

Blogger Blitz Semifinals: Raccoon City

If any of you follow along with the non-recipe posts you’ll know that I won Round One of the incredible Blogger Blitz Challenge, hosted by Ian at Adventure Rules.  I honestly didn’t expect to win, especially since Luna of Gamer’s United put up such a good fight.  But by some serious luck I got to move on to the semifinals!  If you want to know more about the basics behind the Blogger Blitz a link to the rules can be found here.  However, for this second challenge a new scenario and a new rule were introduced.  The new rule: I get 800 words (instead of 500) to describe why Link would be able to survive a dastardly plan by LeChuck of The Secret of Monkey Island and take down Albert Wesker in Resident Evil territory.  Since I’ve never played Resident Evil I relied heavily on recaps and synopsis to understand what Link was up against, so bear with me if it may be a tad inaccurate!  The official prompt is as follows:

“In this event, the two competitors must switch roles for a day – Link must lead the charge against biologically-enhanced zombie warriors (can you tell I’ve totally played Resident Evil before?!) and their leader Wesker, while Claire has to save Hyrule from the mighty sorcerer Ganondorf and his evil hordes. However, before they can do their new jobs, LeChuck interferes, dragging them to the waters of Mêlée Island (which, as we all know, conveniently borders both Hyrule and the United States). Attaching each competitor to a heavy ship anchor, he sends them plummeting into the deep before heading off to capture Elaine Marley. Our competitors must explain how they escape LeChuck’s deadly trap without drowning, make their way back, and defeat a villain they have never faced with abilities foreign to their own world.”

If you are dying to see what my competitor, Luke, at Hundstrasse has written (like I am) then check out his blog here.  And now, let’s see what Link’s got up his sleeve for this challenge!  And don’t forget, the results will go live Friday at 9am EST on Adventure Rules.

Judges and curious onlookers – the word count starts now:

Hyrule

Another day, another kingdom to save.  It seems the work is never done for the Hero of Hyrule.  But this time, it’s not his kingdom that needs saving.  A request came for help from the distant land of Raccoon City, and Link, a born hero through all ages, answers the call.  As he leaves the safety of Hyrule he is ambushed by the dread pirate, LeChuck, who captures Link using a sleeping draft.  LeChuck ties Link to an anchor and drops him into the depths of the ocean…

Link!  Link, wake up! Hurry!

Link awakens, gasps, and struggles wildly.  Luckily, he always wears his Zora Tunic, which allows him to breathe underwater, when he sails.  With no fear of drowning, Link struggles with his bonds, eventually freeing one arm.  He draws the Master Sword and slices through the rope, freeing himself from the anchor.  Using his Silver Scale, Link swims to the surface to find the King of Red Lions, his companion across all oceans.  He hops into this boat and ties up his Swift Sail, knowing that time is running out.

Raccoon City

As Link reaches the shore he realizes he is still far from Raccoon City.  He could call his loyal steed, Epona, but knows that time is pressing.  Instead he calls his Crimson Loftwing and soars through the skies to reach this new realm.  He sets down just outside the town, cautious and wary.  He isn’t sure what monsters Raccoon City may be facing but his Stealth Crouch and Sheikah Stealth Armor help him avoid detection.  The closer he gets to the city, the fewer resources he notices.  Luckily, scavenging for food, materials, and weapons and careful use of those goods is a skill he has recently acquired.  Maintaining a supply of health-restoring food and weapons shouldn’t be a problem with his Sheikah Slate Sensor capabilities.  And Link isn’t afraid to break literally every pot and cut every blade of grass to find what he needs.

As he enters the city he encounters his first monster – a hideous, humanoid thing that looks undead.  Or maybe ReDead?  Link sighs with relief when he realizes he’s encountered monsters similar to this before.  He manages to sneak past the first few zombies before coming to a large mansion.  He checks his map and notices a glowing sphere underneath the mansion.  It must be the location of Wesker, the man behind these evils deeds.  He cautiously slips through the front doors and stumbles upon a monster just inside the door.  He whips out his Ocarina, quickly plays the Sun Song and a beam of light appears, blinding the zombie, allowing Link the time to kill him with the Master Sword before moving on.

Resident Evil Mansion

As Link steps into the next room he notices hidden switches and some kind of puzzle to be worked out.  He smiles.  As Hero of Hyrule, he has worked his way through hundreds of puzzles.  It seems like the people of Hyrule insist their temples be so complex no one could actually use them.  He quickly works out the first puzzle and moves on.  As he works his way through the following rooms and puzzles he notices that the mansions is becoming quieter.  As he leaves the last room and zombie runs down the corridor toward him.  Working quickly, Link uses his Ice Rod to freeze his opponent.  He then uses a well-placed bomb to kill the monster.  The sound, however, draws more zombies to him.  His Triforce of Courage never fails him and he swiftly fires a Bomb Arrow, blasting them all as he makes his escape to the stairs at the end of the hall.

Albert Wesker from Resident Evil

Link rushes down toward the glowing dot from his map to find a giant mutant and Wesker.  Wesker congratulates Link on making it this far and explains his terrible plan for world domination.  Link rolls his eyes – he’s heard this before and this guy had nothing on Ganondorf.  As Wesker finishes his tirade he unleashes the monster, a Tyrant.  Link quickly downs a Tough Meat and Rice Bowl, boosting his ability to handle damage and his health, and uses a combination of the Mirror Shield to blind the monster and Master Sword Beams to defeat it.  In the monster’s last, terrible rage he attacks Wesker, who appears dead beside the remains of the beast.  But Link knows that after Ganondorf comes Ganon and waits for the second monster to appear.  Wesker revives, having injected himself with a powerful virus, and attacks.  Link brings out the Light Arrows, knowing of their power to stop evil (and blind his foes), and uses them and powerful attacks with his Master Sword to defeat Wesker.  As Link leaves the building the sun bursts above the horizon and he smiles, knowing he restored peace to Raccoon City.

Anxiety and the Positive Benefits of Gaming

Anxiety and the Positive Benefits of Gaming

Apparently, as I learned in the RadioWest podcast episode I listened to just a month ago, we live in the “age of anxiety”.  The author of a new book called Just Can’t Stop delves into the realm of compulsions and how small compulsions are evolution’s way of helping us cope with overwhelming situations.  In the podcast she talked about mental health and the difference between serious, need to get help compulsions and minor, help you cope with your minor anxiety compulsions.  It really pushed some ideas inward and I’ve been seriously contemplating my own battles and what they’ve meant in my life.  So let’s get personal.

About 5 months ago I was diagnosed with debilitating anxiety and minor depression.  After struggling with the inability to function for about 10 months I finally, with the support and courage of my wonderful husband, sought professional help.  It was incredibly difficult for me to admit that I needed any help and incredibly difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t my mom – I couldn’t handle the stress of my life with the aplomb and poise that she does.

Since I started down this destructive path I’ve found that one of the best coping mechanisms for me has been video games.  And now, after seeking help and understanding a little better where my anxiety and depression come from, I know why.  I think I want to share this, not only because it’ll help me but because maybe it’ll help you, too!

I feel like I am in control:

When I look at my life I do not feel in control of my situation – work, our home being built, children getting sick, my daycare quitting and leaving me in a bit of a lurch, and the list continues.  Playing a video game, especially because I pretty much stick to single player games or modes like Breath of the Wild or one player MarioKart, allows me to be in control of my entire situation.  I want to explore in that direction, I can.  I get to control where I go, when I accomplish tasks, how long it’ll take, and how to approach an enemy.  This, for someone who feels like their life is spiraling, is a positive experience and helps me feel a little more inner peace and calm.

I can get upset without becoming mean:

I try to be as kind as I can.  I don’t understand other people’s experiences, where they are coming from, or why they behave certain ways.  As such, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when something goes wrong or they screw something up.  But it leaves me with a pretty big ball of frustration that I’ve been unable to lose.  When I play a video game I can get mad at the RNG gods without feeling like I am judging someone too harshly or becoming a toxic player.  I can get frustrated without disrupting someone else’s experience.  This gives me an outlet for my frustration without ruining any relationships or people.

It allows me to set and achieve goals:

When you are struggling with anxiety it can be incredibly difficult, even impossible, to set and achieve goals.  You feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by fear all the time.  When I play a video game I am given tasks and goals and a desire to finish them.  Every time I finish a side quest I know I’ve accomplished something.  Whenever I beat a dungeon or boss I feel like I’m making a difference and finishing a major task.  These small victories do wonders for my self esteem and positive outlook, even if they are virtual.  It’s something that didn’t require much thought or even, sometimes, much work on my part.  But it’s something that helps me feel just a little bit better about myself.  With enough game victories I usually feel a little more capable to set and accomplish real life goals.

The games I play bring me joy:

In the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown, he spends a great deal of time discussing the importance of doing something because it brings you joy.  It doesn’t necessarily accomplish a task or goal, it just makes you happy.  Video games make me happy.  I love the stories, the music, the characters, and the feeling of being involved in another world.  And when you are depressed the importance of  doing something that makes you happy and fires off that dopamine becomes even more essential.  So I play because it makes my life a better place.

What kind of happiness do you find playing video games?  Are there any lessons you’ve learned about how video games have positively affected your life?

Blogger Blitz Round 4: Matchmaker

You know, after an accidental hiatus it’s interesting that the post I come back with isn’t a recipe.  It’s not even a Thursday Thought.  It’s a competition.  So to kick off being back from vacation and back on track I’m going to spend the next 500 words (after this intro, judges!  Don’t start counting now!) convincing you that Link, our very own Hero of Life, the Universe, and Everything can play matchmaker with only his impressive collection of skills.  This competition, hosted by Ian at Adventure Rules, is called the Blogger Blitz.  If you want to know more about it a link to the rules can be found here.  I’m participating in Round 4, so if you’d like to read the previous rounds click on 1, 2, and 3 for the respective hub articles.  This community event has been really fun to be a part of so far, and, with luck, I’ll get to keep playing in the next round!  For any of you who, for some silly reason, don’t want to read the full rules and regulations, my prompt is as follows:

“Match Maker! It’s a mission to find love for a malboro, the most horrifying creature in Final Fantasy history. Malboro are known for their putrid breath, breath so terrible that when exhaled on a party of adventurers, it can cause a range of status ailments from poison to confusion to becoming Doomed to die! Finding someone – or something – for a creature like that is pretty intimidating, but it’s up to you to convince the judges why your character can do it.”

malboro

If you want to read my competitor’s argument head over to Gamer’s United.  Luna is writing about the Joker so this could be a very interesting match-up!  Oh, and one more thing, the results will be posted on Adventure Rules this Friday to see who won!  So cross your fingers, wish me luck, and let’s get this party started!  Judges, word counts starts at the top the of the next paragraph.

“Hey! Listen! Link, it’s almost time for the challenge.  Wake Up!”

*Mumbling and yawning*

“I can’t believe I picked such a lazy boy to help me with this… Link, it’s challenge day!  Can you explain the argument we came up with that you are an incredible matchmaker and that you can help anyone find love?”

“. . . . .”

“Um…. A little louder for the back?”

“. . . . .”

*Sigh* “Fine.  Why don’t I just tell them.”

Link, The legend of Zelda

Link, the Hero of Time and defender of Hyrule, has always been up to a challenge.  When he heard about this one it was no different.  He knew that finding love for a creature as horrific as a malboro would be tough, but he’s never backed down from a fight and he never will.

First, Link must use his triforce of courage.  Only the most brave and fearless could stand to be near a malboro long enough to learn what he was really like.  Link’s ability to stay calm in the face of overwhelming danger would allow him to hang out, learn, and find the positive aspects of such a creature.  Link’s incessant questions to everyone, including asking the same questions over and over again, would allow him to discover who malboro truly was.  This knowledge would be invaluable to finding a true love for this monster.  He would also utilize his companion, be it fairy, sword spirit, or twilight princess, to learn everything he could about malboros.  He would learn the creature’s weaknesses in order to help the potential mate know when it was safe to approach their true love.

After learning about his foe… I mean, friend… he would start to search for the right person to love such a monster.  Link loves to travel, usually covering vast countries and lands to discover everything he can about other people, cultures, and races.  This knowledge will help him choose the person most likely to love a malboro.  After using his persistence and questioning skills he will have found the person just right for the malboro – looking for love and slightly desperate.

moe the moblinOnce the potential soul mate has been found he’d start a letter campaign, knowing that the best way to get these two to fall in love would be long-distance.  So he’d deliver these letters back and forth between the lover’s, like he’s always done.  He reminded me that every incarnation of himself has played matchmaker regardless of race, age, and distance.  He even reminded me that his incarnation during the flood (Wind Waker) was able to match a Hylian with a Moblin monster.

He’s always helping people find love and it usually bring him great joy and some kind of reward.  The promise of this reward means that he would not give up until the quest was completed.  These letters would spark true romance and, after enough of them, the malboro and his true love would finally meet.  Armed with the knowledge Link was able to pass on these two could live happily, and maybe distantly, ever after.

Changing the World One Gamer at a Time

Changing the World One Gamer at a Time

As gamers I think we have so much potential for changing the world.  I actually, legitimately do.  The more I think about gaming the more convinced I am that it’s a great metaphor for the world – there are different people from different countries, ethnicity’s, backgrounds, financial situations, and preferences interacting on a daily basis.  We meet up in online chats for all sorts of games and we experience this thing we love together.  And that, I think, gives us a positive advantage over so many other people.  The skills we learn while gaming can help, to use a bit of a cliche, make the world a better place.  Here are 5 reasons why I truly believe that:

Gaming online can help with positive social interaction:

When you interact with someone new it can be daunting, intimidating, and unfamiliar.  It’s so much easier to bond with people who enjoy the same things you do and who, frankly, you don’t have to look in the eye when you chat.  Instead of using online chat and online gaming as a toxic dumping grounds of sadness try using it to build positive social interaction.  Treat it like you would if that person where sitting right next to you gaming, instead of sitting 600 miles or more away.  Talk, be kind and understanding, helpful instead of hurtful.  Take the opportunity to instruct in a positive way instead of criticizing and bond over the fact that you both love playing as D.Va.  This will translate to how you treat people offline, as well.  The kindness we show becomes a part of us and helps mold our interactions everywhere.  We, because we are with people who love the same things we do, have a unique opportunity to encourage and uplift!  Let’s try and make someone’s day just a bit better by being a person worth knowing.

Games can help us understand other cultures:

I love how much I learn about Japanese culture when I play JRPGs.  Or the minor insights I get when I read bio’s on Overwatch.  It incites my curiosity and makes me want to actually learn more about the real cultures!  I don’t know about you guys, but I see that kind of infectious appetite to learn about the people and cultures that are deep within our games all around me.  Learning about others helps us become more tolerant of them, more accepting of who they are, and less critical of why they choose to be certain ways.  So take a leaf out of your own book and go learn about other people, both on and off screen.  Ask someone in chat about why their name is unfamiliar.  Read up on why a particular animation was used for a particular game.  Learn something new and I bet it’ll make you love not only your game, but also those people, a lot more!

Games can help break down prejudice toward other preferences and points of view:

I love that the entire Zelda franchise has no qualms about inter-race relationships.  Ruto, princess of the Zora’s in Ocarina of Time, falls in love with Link, a Hylian.  A Hylian and a Gerudo wind up getting married in Breath of the Wild.  Nintendo acts like it’s no big deal – and it isn’t.  There are so many subtle and not-so-subtle points in a story that can help break down social barriers against any kind of prejudice.  This includes sexual preference, gender identity, religious beliefs, and cultural “norms”.  Everyone in the games get along based on a scale of good and evil, not a scale of differences.  These messages are ingrained in us from childhood (those of us who grew up gaming) and are something we can easily translate from the screen to the real world.  Lets become more like these characters and become more accepting, loving, and kind toward others.  Because what they identify as or what they choose to be should not define whether they are a good person.

Goal setting and goal achieving can help our outlook on life:

Raise your hands if you’ve ever felt better about yourself after completing goal?  Me, too.  It has some serious motivating power and can help us feel 1,000 times better about how we are doing in our lives.  Now, I know this is a mechanic developers use to try and get it hooked but achieving small goals in games can help us achieve goals in real life, too.  Whether you are accomplishing a task in a game, at the gym, or at work the feelings of happiness and the endorphin rush are the same.  And this motivates you to set and achieve even more goals.  It’s a fantastic positive feedback loop.  All we need to do is take that high we get when we finish that side quest and, when we turn off the game, use it to finish something else.  Finishing that other thing will make you more likely to finish other side quests, or other real life goals.  Lather, rinse, repeat and you’re an unstoppable force of awesome.

Stories can positively affect our outlook on the world around us:

How many games do you play that follow this format: some kind of evil took over the world/destroyed it, and now you have to rebuild/figure out what the evil is/fight the darkness threatening the world/etc…  Horizon Zero Dawn, any of the Arkham series, and the entire Zelda franchise follow this, along with a myriad of other games.  You know what this says to me?  The world has been and can again be messed up.  But you know what happens when it becomes like this?  People step in and clean up the messes.  Most of the time these stories involve some kind of destiny surrounding the hero, but not all of them.  And that’s great because we, just our regular selves, can affect positive change on our surroundings!  We can be the good neighbor who makes someone’s day a little better.  We can take small steps to fight the enemies surrounding us and help make the world a more positive place, not more despondent.  We should take the lessons we learn in our games and know that the work we do in the real world can make a difference in overcoming the darkness that threatens us.

So let’s do it!  Let’s become the positive change we want to see in the world.  We’re already being trained with the skills to make a difference because of our love of gaming.  Why don’t we use that love and make the world a happier, safer, more accepting place to be.

 

A Girl in a Game Store

A Girl in a Game Store

As a female in the gaming world I have come across some weird behaviors over the years.  But very few compare to the different ways guys react to me when they see me in a game store alone.  Bordering on insulting, these hilarious run-ins prompted me to make a list of 5 navigational pitfalls that easily ruin a first impression.

The One-Upping Competition:

This one is so hard to avoid.  The guy wants to prove he knows more than the girl because of a, b, and c.  The girl wants to prove she knows the most because of x, y, and z.  Instead of interacting with each other and creating a bond that could be the start of a beautiful friendship they wind up arguing.  It goes from friendly banter to nit-picking in a heartbeat.  And the last place you want a relationship to start is with a fight.  Turn of vs. mode and play team mode for a while.  I bet you’ll like where it leads.

The Game Developer Stratagem:

Once Upon A Time I was waiting in line outside a GameStop with my little brother for the Nintendo Switch release.  It was now about 7 am and this girl shows up.  She stood at the front of the crowd of (mostly) men and said “I’m a game developer and I’d really love everyone’s opinions about what makes a good story”.  She batted her eyelashes, whipped her hair (probably…) and it worked – the first 10 boys or so fawned over her.  That is, until her boyfriend showed up and ruined the illusion that they might actually have a chance with her.  Every time I see this technique get used all I can think of is “Are you peacocking?  Really?  Do you think that’s gonna work?”.  People, get real.  Stop actively looking for attention and just be honest about what you really want.  I’m guessing people will appreciate it a lot more since they will, inevitably, find out the truth.

The Better Gamer Attempt:

Why is it that so many guys in a game store think that I need help playing my game?  Why do they feel compelled to give me hints even after I firmly state that I don’t want any help?  It’s because I’m a girl.  Because they want to impress the opposite sex with their “obvious” superiority and knowledge.  This method is, above almost all others, the most annoying because I don’t like spoilers!  And I’m guessing most people feel the same way.  So just stop it!  If there’s a girl (or guy, for that matter.  I’m sure it goes both ways) in a game store by herself who doesn’t look lost, she probably knows what she’s doing.  And instead of treating her like she’s clueless try engaging her in genuine equal conversation.  It’ll probably get you way further than assuming you know more than she does.

The Gawk and Cover:

Ha!  I love this one.  Not for use, mind you, since it doesn’t work at all, but because of how funny it is.  It’s so awkward to be wandering around the game store and see the one guy/girl following you with their eyes but ducking out of sight whenever you notice.  Fellow gamers, have a little more confidence in yourself!  Make Link your spirit animal and channel the triforce of courage!  Try and talk to them because the worst they can do is say no and if you don’t talk to them you’ll never know.  The unapproachable She/He will probably be more interested in your well-informed and interesting game opinions than they are about whatever it is that bothers you about yourself.  And if they aren’t trust me when I say they are flattered by the attention whether they go for it or not.  I always am!

The Damsel in Distress:

Ugh.  This strategy.  Just walk into any game store and you can see this method being utilized.  “Oh help me!  I don’t know anything and I’d love some big, strong man to figure it out for me”… Here’s the reason this method isn’t worth the attempt.  There are two reasons why a girl is in a game store: A) she’s married to/dating a gamer, isn’t a gamer herself, and is genuinely looking for help.  She isn’t sure what she needs or how to find it but dudes, she’s taken.  And B) she’s just looking for attention but trust me, she knows as much as you or more and you’ll get a rude awakening when you find out she faked it.  Women of the world, instead of trying to mask how much we really know and how much we love gaming, why don’t we own it and approach these gentlemen as equals instead of inferior beings.  It’ll probably get you farther in a relationship because you’ll actually have something to build on rather than something to hide.

What awkward encounters have you guys encountered in the wild?  Did I miss any that you’ve experienced?